Bird’s Rookie Year — Game 53 vs. the Bullets

Celtics (39-13) vs. Washington (23-28)
January 31, 1980
Capital Centre

The Celtics ended the first half of the season by embarrassing the back-to-back defending Eastern Conference champions on their home floor.  The NBA landscape was changing: the Celtics had replaced the Bullets as one of the East’s top two teams, and the second half of the season would provide the Lakers with the same opportunity to replace Seattle as the premiere team in the West.

Larry Bird led the Celtics in their 119-103 victory with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists.  After allowing the Bullets to push them around a week earlier at the Garden, the Celtics responded by amplifying their intense and physicality.  The Celtics won the battle of the boards, 47-38.  Another key for the C’s was the play of Eric Fernstern, who appeared to be on the cutting block the moment Pete Maravich was ready to play.  Fernstern, as Bob Ryan noted in the Globe, made his teammates proud with this performance: [Read more…]

Bird’s Rookie Year — Game 52 vs. the Cavaliers

Celtics (38-13) vs. Cleveland (23-31)
January 30, 1980
Boston Garden

Bill Fitch must have been happy to be coaching on the home bench for this one.

The Celtics returned to the Boston Garden to defeat the Cavs in their final home game before the All Star break.  After defeating the Bulls the night before, the Celtics traveled back home win and outscored Cleveland, 110-103.  The win marked the 39th victory of the season, which was already ten more than Boston compiled the entire prior season.

Larry Bird and Cedric Maxwell each led the way with 21 points, and Bird added 15 rebounds.  As the Green still waited for Dave Cowens’ injured foot to heal, Rick Robey added 16 and 11, and the Celtics continued to move the ball extremely well.  The starting five dished out 18 assists, and the C’s used a big fourth quarter to close out Fitch’s former club. [Read more…]

Game 2 without Rondo, Celtics top Kings

The Celtics played their second game without Rajon Rondo and played quite well in their dominant 18-point, 99-81 win over the Sacramento Kings at the TD Garden Wednesday night. It was an extremely balanced attack, with six players reaching double-figures led by Paul Pierce with 16 points. One negative was rookie Jared Sullinger left the game in the first quarter and did not return due to back spasms.

Overall, it was a very impressive performance, granted it was against the Kings and they shot over 50 percent from the floor. It will be interesting to see how long this will be able to keep up as Pierce and Kevin Garnett can’t play big minutes night in and night out and then expect to be at full strength for the playoffs. They will need to get contributions from everyone, like they did on Wednesday night for them to make any run late in the year and potentially win a playoff series.

Up tempo style works for C’s– Baxter Holmes has getting up and down the court quick, and looking to run was one of the ways the team overcame Rondo.

Running without Rajon Rondo– Steve Bulpett also has how pushing the tempo was one of the main keys for the Celtics.

Bradley-Lee backcourt trumps Kings– Chris Forsberg says Avery Bradley and Courtney Lee stepped up big in the win.

You don’t want Demarcus Cousins on the Celtics– Ben Rohrbach has after seeing Cousins play Wednesday night, Celtics fans should not want the team to make a move for him.

Victory of Kings gives Celtics winning blueprint– A. Sherrod Blakely looks at how the team played Wednesday is how they will need to play most of the games the rest of the season as they try and win without Rondo.

A lot of discussion the past few days in the sports media world has been about the article in Boston Magazine for their February edition which came out earlier this week, which was critical of the state of the Boston sports media. The author, Alan Siegal, did a podcast with WEEI’s Kirk Minihane on Tuesday and it is a must listen as Minihane did a fantastic job of challenging Siegal on the points he brought up in the piece.